Seafood grant seems fishy to me

I read recently that Rep. Chellie Pingree was involved in helping to secure a $480,000 grant “to make quality and food safety improvements that will improve market demand” for the seafood industry. Then I read in the BDN on Dec. 7 that cod fishing continues its decline and “fishermen caught less than 2 million pounds of the fish in 2017 decades after routinely catching 100 million pounds annually in the early 1980s.” Then in the Dec. 10 BDN, I read of a young lobsterman, Jeremy Tyler, saying that he has “done progressively worse these last three years” and is looking at alternative jobs.

Couple this with fuel prices, bait and herring shortages, diminishing fish stocks and the right whales issue, could someone explain to the public and myself why we have to spend close to $500,000 of our tax dollars to improve market demand on a shrinking and struggling fishing industry?

Fred Carey

St. George

Where is the middle class?

People supporting President Donald Trump often refer to the economy as booming with millions of jobs being created. I have not seen verification of where these “millions” of jobs are. Granted, unemployment is historically low, but the jobs are not necessarily in fields that will raise one’s standard of living to middle class.

Some people around me in Maine are working two, sometimes even three jobs just to make ends meet. They are a large bill away from disaster.

Our country’s quality of life was built on a very strong middle class. In Maine, the mills provided that for many communities over many years. It is a sad reality that those kinds of jobs are a thing of the past. Workers in other states have similar experiences, like West Virginia, where, regardless of President Trump’s promises, the coal mines will not return.

There is simply not as much of a middle class anymore in this country. How can our economy thus be booming, other than for the 1 percenters who got their (unneeded) tax break? Where are the job statistics showing this great boom? The reality is that nothing “trickles down” and the majority of people are living from paycheck to paycheck, and not because they squander their earnings.

Marie Ward


Pelosi and Catholicism

The BDN editorial page, via The Washington Post, has missed the mark on Catholic teaching with the OpEd “Pelosi and that four letter word” by Karen Tumulty on Dec. 10. As a way of defending Nancy Pelosi, Tumulty reasonably invokes a papal admonition against hating people. But, she then tries to spin folks away from denouncing as un-Catholic Pelosi’s body of work, which includes intransigent support for the killing of unborn babies.

That her friends “insist religious belief is at the core of everything Pelosi does,” should give the Speaker of the House pause to consider the repercussions of her actions, especially when she frequently trumpets that Catholicism is the source of her “moral obligation.” Tumulty talks about “things every Catholic child is taught.” She might check out the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Catholics accept the entirety of Church teaching as promulgated by the authority given to it by Jesus Christ.

The catechism is truth which cannot self-contradict, although Catholics may have conflicted feelings when our desires sway decisions and subsequent actions to go against Church teaching. However, repentance will bring us back into God’s grace by way of the sacrament of reconciliation when we fall into error and/or sin.

Donald Mendell